Dressing up the Dictionary: Life

Life; the existential topic which often leads you down this vacuous hole of both wonder and disappointment along the way.

I’m definitely not even going to attempt to break down what it any time soon. Instead, you know how these days it’s a big deal to keep a gratitude diary? Well I want to share with you some of the things I am grateful for in my life.

If it weren't for the quirks that make me laugh until my asthmatic wheeze is in full force, I would be a pretty miserable soul through and through. I am so grateful for my sense of humour, over the past year it’s really kept me going. Queue Reggae Shark. If you know, you know. So, ordinarily everything I wear I source carefully and think about in depth before purchasing, but on this occasion the Reggae Shark t-shirt was a complete no brainer and I needed it immediately. My friend and I stumbled upon him in the realms of Youtube, and found ourselves in total hysterics. Now he lives in my wardrobe, and I am totally happy for him to be a part of my ever expanding (seriously, running out of space guys) clothing collection.

Verheyen London Emerald Long Line Leopard Print Coat

Something I am learning ever so slowly but surely is to believe in myself and my capabilities. Patience is a virtue as is known so widely, and I am holding on to that notion because in time I hope my capabilities pay off, literally. Now I've embarked upon my journey as a blogger I am understanding the feeling of believing in what I do with full force. This is cemented by insanely beautiful brands like Verheyen London taking interest in what I have to offer, and I am really thankful and proud to be wearing their stunning Long Line Leopard print coat in emerald for this shoot.

This outfit is a representation of my life as I know it now. I am feeling the growth in my self esteem more and more (who knew a luxury coat could do that for you!?). This coat is an emblem , of positivity which I don't always believe is there, but I need to despite it hiding in the shadows. If I could summarise in any way what life is about, it’s a matter of taking things as they are and in my stride while knowing that having patience will always pay off. After all, you can only see where life is taking you as it unravels with each step, living in the present one day at a time. To the unknown! Of which I am grateful for what it teaches me as my life unfolds.

A.x

Shop the Look:

P.s. For a dose of total random hilariousness, here is the aforementioned and legendary Reggae Shark!

  1. Green Leopard Print Coat, Verheyen London

  2. Reggae Shark T-shirt, Ebay

  3. Lady Dior Lambskin Large bag, Dior

  4. Pointed Silver Cap Ankle Boots, Topshop

Dressing up the Dictionary: Lithium

Lithium

/ˈlɪθɪəm/

noun

noun: lithium; symbol: Li

1 the chemical element of atomic number 3, a soft silver-white metal. It is the lightest of the alkali metals.

◦ lithium carbonate or another lithium salt, used as a mood-stabilising drug.

Needle in. Blood drawn. Three working days. Results. Every three months (if I’m being good about it) I have to go through this process to check the levels of lithium in my system aren’t toxic and are within therapeutic range. It’s strange, right? I’ve literally got the stuff inside batteries running around in my blood. One of my brothers actually told me this officially makes me the Duracell battery habit in the adverts, LOL. Whether or not I want it to be, it is a part of me, and the odd hand tremor here and there serves as an obvious reminder.

I’ve been on the stuff since I was 19, and believe me it’s not been a straightforward journey these past 6 years. It hasn’t been the only medication iv’e been on in an attempt to level out my mood. At one point one of my Psychiatrists had me on 7 different things on top of lithium in one go. It’s safe to say I was one hell of a fat zombie at the time. Now I am just on the one thing, I don't really notice it all that much, apart from having to pop 4 pills of it every night. Doing that has become second nature though. I don't really think about it, think brushing your teeth twice a day, it’s just routine. If you look at me, you wouldn't know that I take medicine let alone know that I have Bipolar. Ultimately the only reason I feel different to others is because said others make me feel that way through their reaction, not because I really am. Anyone living with a mental health related diagnosis will know what I mean, you live with it every single day and in the end it is your normality.

If you've read my blog so far you know the drill by now; this topic features an outfit I have curated to go with. I have opted for the very party season appropriate metallics. I am loving this pewter knit from Zara, it provides a different take on the usual sparkle from sequins and I can’t wait to style it in all sorts of ways. Being the magpie that I am, I have teamed it with my Valentino Tan-go pumps and Fendi Silver Du Jour bag. It all just works together without being OTT. To me this outfit represents what lithium is to me, from the inside out.

A.x

Shop the Look:

  1. Metallic Sweater, Zara

  2. Velvet Bomber, similar here

  3. Metallic Pumps, Valentino

  4. Bag & Sunglasses, Fendi previous seasons

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Dressing up the Dictionary: Engulfed

Do you ever feel like your surroundings are engulfing you? I know I do. They influence how I think, how I feel and certainly how I dress. Over the years my style has adapted to the surroundings I have been in and as a result, it has changed invariably. I like exploring how an outfit can fit in with it or go against the grain.

When I was at an all girls secondary school, everything I wore was about fitting in with the people around me. I fell into the awful trap of brightly coloured Ralph Lauren polo’s-shoot me-that epitomises that private school “chic.” Moving on to sixth form college is where my style really started to come into it’s own, it has definitely evolved six years on, but they were the years that taught me a thing or two for the now. I was surrounded by kids whose bank accounts knew no bounds. An example of this was girls with a different Birkin bag for each day of the week, believe me, that is no exaggeration. My love for luxury goods was born here (and never died, LOL) and it marked the occasion I bought my first timeless piece, the Chanel 2.55 bag which I still use to this day, duh.

Being at MPW, the college in question, taught me so much about how my individuality could be expressed through my outfits. I wanted to have a part in all the luxury but I didn't necessarily have the funding for it like the rest. So, I learnt how to make any outfit I wore look luxe just by how I presented it. I practice the same thing today by mixing high end with the high street. Style is, in my mind, all about adapting to where you are while maintaining your individuality. Clothing aside, I definitely felt being at that college started to engulf my entire identity. With hindsight, I can see how it did that, but I can safely say because of that it has taught me not to be entirely eaten up by everything around me. Instead, I use my surroundings as muses to inspire how I want to look at any given occasion, place or time.

Speaking of feeling engulfed, for this weeks look I have gone for an elevated and up to date version of what I would have put together if I were at college. From the jacket to the boots, everything is from Zara, a definite favourite high street store. The accessories are where the luxe comes out to play, wearing the very Chanel bag I mentioned and have had for 10 years. I decided to visit the area the college is in, exploring all the mews’s once more to shoot for this post. A place I was once engulfed and encapsulated by, revisited with a new stance and a fresh set of eyes.

A.x

Shop the Look:

  1. Teddy Jacket, Zara

  2. Faux Leather Trousers, Zara similar here

  3. Boots, Zara

  4. Sunglasses, Le Specs

  5. Bag, Chanel Sloane St

Dressing up the Dictionary: Animalistic

One trend this A/W 18 I have been so on board with is animal print. I have always loved it and in all honesty, I used to have an apprehension about wearing it before now because it’s so bold. The kind of bold which gets you perplexed looks on the tube… I mean, it’s not as if I have been wearing anything zany, it’s just that people can dress so boringly these days and aren't used to seeing something different. As a result of the trend blowing up right now my wardrobe is, not so slowly, filling up with various animal print patterns ranging from leopard to snake with the odd feather in between. I’m literally obsessed.

On a deeper (and maybe more obscure) note, I chose the word Animalistic for this look not just because of my obsession with the print, but also because these days I like animals more than I do humans. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and family, but people in general can just be so… meh, basically. I sometimes look at my cat Mink and want to be her instead of being a human. Life just looks so much easier for her. She gets fed, she has a big old house to roam around in at her pleasure, she gets to sleep all day and she basically doesn't have to worry about anything. Also, let’s face it, when a cat is sleeping the levels of ultimate comfort and coziness are majorly enviable.

As Doris Day once said: '“I’ve never met an animal I didn’t like, and I can’t say the same about humans.” Yes, Doris, yes. I feel you.

Alright, obscure note aside, I have opted for a very instagrammable outfit this week (if I do say so myself). This Zara snake print skirt is hitting the nail on the head with the animal print trend, and I love the tones and the smaller details like the buttons along the top. I decided to pair it with a very cozy black jumper from Acne Studios, which I shrunk in the wash, but you know what? It totally works and I still love it. To finish the look off I wore my winter go to over the knee boots (they kept me so warm!) and oversized shearling jacket to add a masculine contrast to the femininity of the skirt.

I mean, you just can’t go wrong with a bit of animal print in your life, and more importantly you certainly can’t go wrong with loving animals. If wearing the print is the closest I will get to being one, then yeah I am totally on board. Thank you A/W 18!

A.x

Shop the Look:

  1. Black Wool Jumper, Acne Studios

  2. Snake Print Skirt, Zara

  3. Suede Over the Knee Boots, Stuart Weitzman

  4. Sunglasses, Celine Similar here

  5. Bag, Gucci

Dressing up the Dictionary: Maintaining

If there’s one thing I find very difficult, it’s maintaining things.

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That’s because my mood disorder has a plan of it’s own. Cue journal excerpt dated 16.07.18: “It is really hard to maintain or upkeep the use of journalling… Even though I understand it’s cathartic value, I don’t like that it doesn't make things feel better instantly… The irony is I'm so obsessed with maintaining what I set out to do.” I pretty much left it there and didn't revisit the subject again, until now.

Why now? Because I feel at a loss with everything I am doing, and I am exhausted by my expectation of instant gratification. The same sentiment of wanting to feel better straight away has trickled down to my pursuit of becoming a lifestyle blogger. Honestly, I didn't think about what maintaining the process would really entail. I quickly learnt that there is a shady side to the community of lifestyle bloggers; nearly all of them are buying their followers and engagement. It explains why trying to drive in the traffic to my own website and Instagram has been so damn slow. We live in a world where everything is instantly obtainable, and it would seem cheating your way to get there is the norm.

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Excuse me, but I did not work that much harder to prove myself and my capabilities against all odds, to be told that paying my way into things is “all that matters.” Well, guess what? MY EXPERIENCE IS MY WORTH. If anything, the people I went to school with (think rich beyond realms imaginable and then quadruple that amount) have encouraged me to do the exact opposite of buying your way through life. Granted, it would be lovely to amble along Bond Street purchasing whatever I want, but I want that to be something I have TRULY earned. You don't go to work expecting to pay you're way through it. Everything you EARN (not buy on a dodgy website) pays for all that you do: Commuting, check. Morning coffee, check. Going out, check. Eating, check. The clothes on your back, check. Travelling, check. Car, check. Bills, check. Everything, check. Did you pay your boss to give you all that? *cough* Didn’t think so.

Maintaining my path to a blogging career is proving to be super hard, it will probably induce some kind of mental breakdown, but I am willing to take that risk. Haha, I just realised what being passionate about something really feels like, #growingup. It’s a combination of feeling sick and insanely high levels of determined all at once. I’ll continue feeling this way and putting all my hard work into what I do, because I believe I can do it WITHOUT LYING to everyone who decides to follow me. As a result, I will be thankful you're a human and not a damn bot.

*Sigh* All I know is if there is one thing I can maintain, it’s my honesty, both with myself and my followers. I would rather that then simply have a number (because that’s all it is) on my platforms just for appearance sake. If it fails, wearing all black-a tone that will never go out of fashion-and drinking coffee will have to be maintenance enough.

A.x

Shop the Look:

  1. Chunky Knit Sweater, H&M Similar here

  2. Faux Leather Skinny Trousers, Zara Similar here

  3. Suede Ankle Boots, Topshop

  4. Wool Biker Coat, Sandro

  5. Bag, Stella McCartney